The pandemic has caused unprecedented hardship to the people worldwide.  The Filipino-Australian community has its share of stories of extreme impact on home, employment, family, relationships, health, education and many other aspects of daily life.   It is refreshing to hear the inspiring story of Cherry and husband Myron Richard Dennison who are both engineers in their profession.  Unlike most of the recent Filipino migrants who underwent many difficulties, the couple and their two children had achieved permanent residency from when they submitted all the required documents.

The Australian Filipina is glad to highlight the story of Cherry and Myron to give encouragement to those who have family members and friends who are considering to migrate to Australia sometime in the future.  We also share Cherry's views on the pandemic. 

The writer met Cherry and family in the opening of the small shop of Rizzal and Cesar Jaena whose story of struggling international students who lost their jobs to peddling home baked muffin [Torta de Cebu]  and following community support becoming entrepreneurs was told  in TAF. 

We are glad to share the responses by Cherry to a few questions regarding their journey.

What was the process you went through to migrate to  Australia?



We were in Singapore for five years before we applied online for a skills visa here in Australia. My husband was the main applicant as he has many solid years of experience as a hardware engineer.

Unlike most everyone we know, we didn't hire an agency because we simply didn't have the budget for it at that time. Instead, we researched everything online about migrating here and made preparations on the requirements all on our own.

We got our PR status granted just about a year after we sent in our paperwork and application. Looking back, it was a long and winding road, full of tough challenges and sacrifices - physically, mentally and most especially financially, but being here in Sydney right now makes it all worth it.

 

What would you consider fondly to be your achievements in life and your profession?

In life, it would be my family. Having a hardworking and supportive husband and our two kids who are adjusting well in school after three years since they arrived from Singapore.

In my profession, I would say being able to get back to work which is related to my course is really an achievement. Although it's kind of starting again at entry level, I don't mind because the workplace environment is great and my colleagues are amazing.

On the flip side, what challenges have you faced and overcome?

Prior to migrating here, I haven't been to any parts of Australia at all, not even for vacation or holiday. So it was completely new for me while at the same time I was pressured with the goal of finding my first job. It was the most challenging. I had numerous interviews which was great but each time I got rejected was discouraging. The companies hiring were always looking for onshore experience which obviously I don't have yet.

It took me almost three months to get hired and that first job was not even related to any of my work experience. Another challenge was that I was alone here for the first ten months as my husband and kids continued to stay in Singapore to finish the school year. Good thing I have my cousin and his family who helped me adapt and settle down in my initial months here.

 

If there is anything you can change of what you did in the past, what would they be?

We all have our regrets in life, but thinking about it now, there is nothing that I want to change in the past.

Everything that has happened, be it good or bad, has brought me here today. I wouldn't want to change it otherwise. 


What would you advise those who are having difficulties in settling in their temporary home?

Always think of your end goal so that you will continue to be determined and motivated to get through whatever difficulties you are facing.

Do the best you can given the situation at hand. Pray and believe in yourself that you can do this.


In your view, how is the NSW government  handling the COVID 19 situation? 

They are handling it extremely well and on top of it. They give advice regularly if not every day on the status of cases and updates on restrictions.

I think they are doing a great job.


Is there anything you want to suggest be put in place by the government that is not happening where you are?

 Maybe a lockdown if cases surge at an alarming rate especially now that there is a highly transmissible variant of the virus.

If it's happening in the UK and anywhere else in the world, then it could certainly happen here.

What advice can you give to the Fil-Aus community to stay safe from the pandemic?

 Let's continue to follow government and health care advice and guidelines and be extra cautious. We must think as if everyone we come across with has it so we should be careful. Think that we can't afford to be sick because we run the risk of passing it to our family and friends.

 

How do you define success/tagumpay?

Success is when you achieve the goals you've set in life. When every sweat, tears, and hard work finally pays off. The more effort that you've put in, the prouder you will be of yourself because you overcame all the obstacles that came with it. It will leave you smiling peacefully when you sleep at night. :)

 

ABOUT CHERRY DENNISON

Cherry Dennison [nee Nograles] was born on 17 February 1980 in Davao but she grew up and studied in Cebu.  Her father was originally from Negros Occidental and her mother hails from Davao City.  She is the third of four siblings.

Cherry Dennison [nee Nograles] was born on 17 February 1980 in Davao but she grew up and studied in Cebu.  Her father was originally from Negros Occidental and her mother hails from Davao City.  She is the third of four siblings.

She completed a Bachelor of Science in Electronics & Communications Engineering at the University of San Jose - Recoletos. 

She and Myron Richard Dennison got married in December 2003 in Cebu. Myron, who is 42 years old,  is a senior hardware engineer. They are blessed with two children - daughter Khris Danielle,15 years and son Klark Denzel, 13 years old. 

Prior to migrating to Singapore in May 2011, Cherry worked as product engineer in Cebu,  She worked as project coordinator in Singapore.  She later migrated to Sydney in February 2017.  She has been working as hardware engineer in Sydney. 

Life is going good for Cherry and the family.  What else would she like to achieve in life?

"In the near future, I would want us to be granted citizenship in the next few years. Life-long goal would be for our children, Khrys  and Klark to be able to have a more stable and comfortable life here in Australia."

 

The Australian Filipina wishes Cherry and the whole family the best as they enjoy their life in their new home, Australia.

 

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